Certain Christians who celebrate Christmas (not all Christians do) have lately been bellyaching via blogs, bumper stickers, and various memes that there is a “war on Christmas” going on. Even some conservative Christian politicians have been bloviating about this alleged “war on Christmas.” Where are the tiny violins?
I find it all a bit mystifying because if anything Christmas is more in your face today than it ever was before. The holiday season used to start the day after Thanksgiving; now it starts the day after Halloween, and even Thanksgiving has been insidiously taken over by a day celebrating the spirit of greed called “Black Friday”–which now has edged into “Black Thursday,” meaning many stores are now open on Thanksgiving so people can stock up on cheap TVs and other appliances to give their holiday shopping a head start.
You can’t get away from Christmas. Everywhere you turn, it’s buy this, buy that; give this, give that; host a big holiday bash or else; and you’re either a Scrooge or a sucky parent/lover/friend/employee if you don’t blindly obey these messages that are blasted into our ears 24/7 for an entire month or more.
If you don’t have the funds to give extravagant gifts or host lavish parties and holiday dinners with all the trimmings or the time or desire to decorate a 10 foot Christmas tree and bedeck your entire house with exterior lights, you are made to feel defective–and Scroogelike. And it’s getting worse and more in your face every year.
So Christmas itself is having no problems. I don’t see any war against it going on.
I think what the “war on Christmas” actually refers to is cards, banners, signs, and greetings that say “Happy Holidays” or “Seasons Greetings” instead of the more Christian-centric “Merry Christmas.” Those who complain about the war on Christmas are objecting to the political correctness of those attempting to be all-inclusive–because after all, America is a melting-pot nation that includes Jews, Muslims, atheists and people of other faiths besides Christianity. “Seasons Greetings” is convenient and covers at least the Jews who celebrate Hanukkah and African Americans who celebrate Kwanzaa (who probably also celebrate Christmas). In fact, I know a lot of Jews who celebrate both Hanukkah AND Christmas. Christmas has become more of an American holiday than a religious one–and a handy excuse for Big Business to rake in big bucks.
“Seasons Greetings” has been on Christmas cards for as long as I can remember (and I’ve been around quite a while), but it didn’t seem to me that anyone minded that until the past 10-20 years or so. Personally, I think it’s petty and stupid to make such a big deal about it. “Seasons Greetings” or “Happy Holiday” doesn’t exclude Christians, but for some reason certain Christians think that such a greeting is a sign of hostility against them or Christmas itself. I think there are far more important things for them to be worrying about besides the printed message on a
holiday oops Christmas card that will probably be tossed in the trash the week after New Years’ anyway.
Here’s a news flash: There is no “War on Christmas.” It’s all in your head.